Peter Jackson

Lord of the Cinema

In 1996, Roger Ebert called Peter Jackson's The Frighteners "a film that looks more like a demo reel than a movie--like the kind of audition tape a special-effects expert would put together, hoping to impress a producer enough to give him a real job." Ebert couldn't have known how right he was. For in making the film, Jackson had amassed a gigaload of effects technology. He just needed the right subject in which to put his cybertoys to spectacular use.

The subject, we know, was the Middle-earth wars. J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings books handed Jackson a quest story...

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